Osei-Agyei Opposes Attorney General

Mr. Akwasi Osei-Adjei, the Former Foreign Affairs Minister, is challenging a stay of execution filed by the Attorney General (AG) seeking to deny him access to his passport which he has been granted by an Accra Human Rights Court. The former minister, in an affidavit in opposition, noted that the application is “maliciously inspired and merely a devious attempt by the AG to deny him his fundamental human rights under the constitution without any just cause”. Mr. Osei-Adjei also noted that the October 12, 2009 date fixed for the motion to be moved was too long a time for such a motion to be heard, arguing that the timing violates the rules of the court and is a ploy to deny him his fundamental human rights and to upset his enjoyment of the fruits of the judgment. In view of this, he has filed for an order abridging the date for the hearing of the stay of execution, and this instant application would be moved on August 25, 2009 at the Human Rights Court. Mr. Osei-Adjei, who noted that the motion for stay is in sheer bad faith, is praying the court to dismiss the AG’s motion on grounds that the appeal is unmeritorious and raises no serious questions of law and fact for the consideration of the court of Appeal. He objected to the AG’s claim that he is the subject of investigations stating that, “at all material times relevant to the case, I was never the subject of any criminal investigations by any security agency of the state and had not been cautioned or charged with any criminal offence. In view of this, it is outrageously untrue for the AG to contend that I intended to abscond from the jurisdiction. Indeed as far as I can recollect, a perusal of my passport will show that apart from an Indian visa which I acquired long before the end of last year which may have even expired, I do not have any valid visa in my impounded passport”. He is praying for the court to order the AG to deposit his passport with the Registrar of the court in order to demonstrate the truth of his assertions and to avoid any action taken by the AG detrimental to his interest. It would be recalled that on August 11 2009, the Human right court ordered the BNI to return his passport which was confiscated by the state when he was invited for interrogation at the BNI office. The AG, dissatisfied with the ruling which described the seizure of Osei-Adjei’s passport by the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) as unconstitutional, filed the stay of execution pending the final determination of an appeal against the said ruling. The AG argued that the passport was seized on lawful grounds which include the fact that Osei-Adjei is a subject of criminal investigation based on reasonable suspicion that he has committed an offence under the laws of Ghana and that his presence in the country is vital for investigations to his conduct. According to the AG, the court should grant the stay of execution since the appeal has strong possibility of success arguing that if the passport is released and their appeal succeeds, the outcome of the appeal would be rendered defeated and therefore it would be extremely difficult for the BNI to have access to Osei-Adjei to facilitate the investigation since he may have absconded from the jurisdiction.